Sudan Journal: Sudan team in the FIRST Global Competition

(Translated from Arabic)

In this article, we will shed light on the participation of the Sudan team in the FIRST Global Challenge and the STEM approach to teaching and their experience in this challenge through these excerpts to familiarize the reader with these themes.

Who are they?
The team representing Sudan in the 2020 FIRST Global Challenge was selected by the coaches through forms and nominations based on which the current team was formed, which includes six members in the age group between 13-15 years.

Combined with their passion for STEM, FIRST Global was the perfect opportunity for all of them to increase this passion.

Today, they are half way through the competition, where they have gone through three technical challenges, in which the tasks differed in order to test their mechanical skills, from designing a launcher to a kite under certain conditions, as well as the challenge of designing a serial motion interaction machine, and the challenge of designing animations using computer programs on the idea of ​​the competition for this year that aims to connect communities, in addition to the fourth challenge they are in the process of implementing now which is designing a robot that performs a daily task. In addition to the challenges of social networking sites, where there are many so far, they participated in fifteen challenges, but ten challenges remain.

The forms of social media challenges varied from articles, photos and videos of the team members talking about the challenge topic and in general aiming at connecting communities, which is the theme of the challenge for this year, as well as introducing individuals and society to the concept of STEM.

They have passed the halfway mark and several challenges still remain.

About the FIRST Global Challenge:
In order to make the federation of societies to exchange knowledge and spread science, and to enhance the knowledge and skills of the technological and engineering youth and their knowledge of STEM, and within the framework of increasing their cooperation and teamwork skills, the FIRST Global competition was to achieve these goals together by competing with teams from all over the world to create the best robot that achieves what’s required of it accurately.

This is the third participation of the Republic of Sudan in this competition, where this year and due to global health conditions, the goal differed slightly and the form of challenges differed, so there were practical challenges and challenges on social media.

The Sudan team has ranked twenty-second at the moment of writing this article among more than ninety participating countries, and the challenge continues until the twenty-six of September, and then the final teams’ positions will be announced.

About STEM:
(STEM = Science + Technology + Engineering + Mathematics)

It is a teaching and learning approach based on the integration of science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields together, as it is studied in the form of a coherent unit and this is because the outputs of teaching these sciences in the form of an integrated unit are much better than teaching each one separately.

The importance of STEM education lies in that it enables individuals to effectively understand these sciences. The STEM education approach gives students the opportunity to inquire, discover and use scientific inquiry because they are not taught information, as in traditional education, in addition to the specific skills that they will possess and whose impact extends in their daily life and will create an entertaining educational approach. And an attractive environment for students, in addition to the fact that innovations and modern inventions overlap in these disciplines, making STEM learning necessary to keep pace with the inventions of the times.

On the Sudanese experience:
The experience was full of knowledge, fun and difficulty at the same time added to the Sudanese team, a lot as the social skills of all members of the team increased, communication and teamwork skills, flexibility, and the speed of decision-making, accepting failure and trying again and again, working under pressure and investing all available resources, And finding alternatives and innovation in thinking and implementation.

In addition to a lot of lessons, knowledge, experiences and friendships that will accompany them to all stages of life.

The warm weather, fertile land and ready for cultivation make Sudan rich in resources. And that the determination of the team, in parallel with science and technology, will enable them to preserve the fact that Sudan is the food basket of the world and at the forefront of the developed countries.

We take advantage of this opportunity to encourage all individuals who have a passion for STEM to strive to develop their knowledge in addition to our emphasis on the need to include the STEM education approach in Sudanese curricula in order for Sudanese youth to catch up with their peers abroad in terms of knowledge and familiarity with STEM.